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LGCnet QUESTION OF THE WEEK RESULTS: COUNCILS WARNED THAT NEW STRUCTURES COULD BRING LEGAL CHALLENGES

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New executive decision-making structures in local government could leave councils facing legal challenges, accordin...
New executive decision-making structures in local government could leave councils facing legal challenges, according to 80% of respondents to an online survey carried out by LGCnet in association with Zurich Municipal, the public sector risk management and insurance group.

The survey reveals serious concerns about the legality of decisions taken by executive members outside of full council meetings and without seeking professional advice from officers.

Of 89 people who responded to the LGCnet question of the week, 72 (80.9%) agreed with the statement: 'Mayors and council cabinets face legal challenges if they make executive decisions outside full council meetings and without professional advice from officers.' Seventeen respondents (19.1%) disagreed with the statement.

Rachel Coventry, Zurich Municipal marketing controller, said: 'The new democratic structures present a number of opportunities and have the capacity to improve public services, but a failure to put in place sound processes to ensure good governance and the management of risk could jeopardise the potential benefits.

'It is essential that the highest standards of corporate governance are firmly embedded in the management structures of local authorities.'

Notes

The survey asked whether respondents agreed with the statement: 'Mayors and council cabinets face legal challenges if they make executive decisions outside full council meetings and without professional advice from officers.'

LGCnet's question for this week asks whether respondents agree or disagree with the statement: 'Local authorities will not survive if they don't make the most of their new duty to promote the general wellbeing of their communities.'

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